The art of a successful health and wellness programme is to make it informative and fun...

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The 'Health Month' campaign in May 2012, run by Johnson Matthey's site in Devens, near Boston in the US, involved a series of supportive and sometimes surprising activities to engage employees. Four themes were selected for the month long campaign, each lasting a week. Emails and quizzes were sent to employees before each theme was launched to test their knowledge and to get them interested.

A Step Challenge is Set

The campaign kicked off with 'Know your Numbers'. Employees were provided with pedometers and a challenge of reaching 10,000 steps a day was set. The Fit Feet Walking Club was set up and employees were encouraged to meet twice a week for a 30 minute walk – an opportunity to socialise and bond around a specific activity. Other health related 'numbers' were obtained through biometric screenings held onsite. A local health management company administered tests for glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight – important numbers every person should know. The event included a one to one session with a health coach who reviewed each employee's screenings and offered suggestions on how to improve the numbers.

Fitness and Nutrition

The 'numbers' activities were followed by 'Fitness' week. Personal trainers from a local fitness centre visited the site and held a workshop on the benefits of healthy nutrition and regular exercise, with demonstrations. During 'Nutrition' week, which took up the third theme, a 'Healthy Bites Food Tasting' event offered a variety of alternative snacks and food options. Employees were able to sample various healthy options such as fresh fruit and vegetables and protein packed bars, a better alternative to snacks like crisps and confectionery, which are high in calories and saturated fats.

Managing Stress

The fourth theme was 'Stress Management' and the week began with a 'Lunch and Learn' session featuring a video entitled Worried Sick. The video explored the physical, emotional and psychological repercussions of stress. Employees also participated in an onsite yoga session and learned several meditation techniques.

Promotional tools such as posters backed up the health and wellness activities. Posters were hung in hallways and stairways, reminding employees to eat healthily and exercise regularly. One stairway poster read "These stairs are the cheapest gym membership you will find". A poster by the lift read "Take a flight of stairs for your health".

Health Fair

The month concluded with a health fair held onsite. Professionals from different fields attended, including an optometrist, a nurse to check blood pressure, a masseuse offering 15 minute chair massages and a chiropractor checking posture and the spine. Employees had the chance to relax, refresh and seek advice on a healthier life.

The health and wellness month provided employees with the tools and encouragement to make healthy decisions and a similar campaign is planned for the year ahead. Social sustainability and health and safety are key elements of Johnson Matthey's sustainability model, and activities like these contribute to the realisation of the company's vision.